Pangasinan Great Run Half Marathon last September 30 is a success and here’s my review on the said first great run and hoping they will continue this. This race is organized by 3U Runners and it is their first time to organize an event wide like this and good thing they got the LGU’s of Lingayen to support this event. Should we thank the Governor’s Office for the ride instead? Haha just kidding! 🙂
The Capitol Building and the starting line of this great race.
They provided a free shuttle service back and forth to runners coming from Manila, Baguio and nearby towns that includes a free accommodation which turned out we had to pay for Php 70.00 for the transient, that’s acceptable it is some sort of tip for the caretakers but it’s not free, okay, that’s clear right. 😦 When you say it’s free don’t change it the last-minute. We we’re informed when we arrive at Narcisso Ramos Stadium well it’s okay with me this rant is for the élite runners who thought it was really free. It’s what they came for in the first place aside from the free ride back and forth. 😦
I had high expectations on this race that I almost compared it to fun runs at Manila but I ended up adjusting when the gun start is about to take off because of some delays, ceremonies and other political stuff, I know right, that’s my province and fully aware of it.
I registered for this run 2 months before the race day. The original race date is move but that’s okay and fine with me but what is not acceptable is the delivery of race kit which I’ve followed up and I am hearing different reasons when I contacted the race organizers which I understand they had to tell “alibis” or white lies to keep their credibility.
I am about to quit hoping for my race kit to arrive when Arc. Jun promised that he will personally hand me over my race kit the night of the before the race when I arrive at Lingayen Stadium where sleeping quarters were reserved for all participants.
I understand that this is their first time to organize on such a race and I lower down my expectation knowing that in the first place there is already little flaws in the registration. I’m still excited to run because it’s my province and it’s my pride to run on this event so I did not to mention is a free bus ride going to Lingayen and back to Manila.
Saturday, Sept. 29th. I went straight ahead to the said pick up points indicated on the map but yellow provincial bus is nowhere be found and the driver keep on saying besides Trinoma which in fact its way besides the mall because you have to walk like half kilometer going to Quezon Ave. from Trinoma. Ugh! Good thing, I had all the contact numbers and oh by the way, here I meet some élite runners whom I became friends today.
Our official shuttle service going to Lingayen and back to Manila c/o Province of Pangasinan
The supposedly departure time is 1pm but turned out we left Manila at 3pm because we waited like 2 hours for other runners to arrived but only the 16 of us arrived and oh, I would like to tell you that I really guaranteed with like 2 seats for the bus because here as my name is on the list 2 times, one as Paolomer Corleone and as Paulo Mercado. 🙂 Thanks!
When I told that to the bus driver I laughed a little. As you can see above is a yellow paper of the master list of expected runners and those with check mark are the ones made it and my new running buddies during race day. Meet the Team Runner’s Plus below:
We are the Manila runners delegation, how cool is that. We we’re identified as runners from Manila during the race that’s why and its good thing as well, I represent Manila yeah even though I’m from Pangasinan haha. Well, this is just my idea none of this truly exist during the race but the recognition that we we’re identified as Manila runners that’s true.
Let’s zoom it in to see my registered names above. 🙂
At the bus, though perfect strangers tried to get acquainted by of course with the common love of others and the reason we all heading to the race venue and that’s no other than running. I heard stories of different quest, some élite runners tell stories about their fight for podium finish and after the money while some just like me are joining the great run just be called finishers. I said that I am from Pangasinan so that they are aware that I know the place and that I can help them roam around and do interpretation for them if needed when the locals used our Pangasinan dialect and be a tour guide for them around the place too.
I seated at the back of Manong Abe (the bus driver) to see the front and side view along the road but most of the time I am sleeping and trying different positions imagine I just got home from a graveyard shift. How crazy is that, me travel going to Pangasinan in exchange of my precious sleep and vacation leave which I could have been with my family.
We arrived at Narcisso Ramos Stadium at Lingayen and immediately hid out to our dormitory and we are sort of “The Manila” delegations when we arrive there because runners from Baguio and other places are already there. I felt like I am competing in high school again representing our school but this time I will compete for myself and beat myself alone the way.
We secured our only key from the dormitory caretakers, at least, all of us are from Manila so for us boys will not have problem with our things because we are out for the run. We got a chance to get to know more with each other when we go out to eat dinner outside the stadium in a cheap restaurant in town.
The double-deck beds for athletes in one of the dug out at the stadium and our shelter for the night.
This is where I get to know more Jessie Berdon and Richard Pausing, two of whom I speak more often during that 2 days at the great run. Both of them ordered vegetable without rice and me ordered 2 rice I’m a farmer and a hard worker so I need more rice please. 😀
Right after the dinner, we go to the registration area in front of a hotel where I am hoping to get my race kit but to no avail. I contacted yet again Architect Jun but he is not there so I had to wait for my kit again this time he promised that he will personally give it to me at the dormitory eventually I get when I am about to sleep, no Arch. Jun arrive so I had to go out and call him, he responded and had somebody give my kit and I got it. Thanks Arch. Jun and to that guy that you sent to hand over my kit. You got a thumbs up for me. 🙂 He is in-charged with the local registration and yet he accommodated me and my needs haha.
We hid back to our sleeping quarters and when nobody dares to turn off the lights, I stand up and asked everybody if it is okay to turn off the lights. It was okay to all of them so pushed the off bottom and it was all dark. Good thing, I friends with Dark Knight that I can still walk through the dark like beast. I live in a community without electricity for 10 years when I was a kid that’s why. To be honest, I cannot sleep when the lights is on that’s why I prefer it to off and besides we need a great sleep for tomorrows run. 😀
After a good 4 to 5 hours sleep, we all wake up and start to prepare for the, me went straight to the shower room and had my teeth clean and took a shower at the same time. When I get back everybody is ready so I had to rush a bit and just like that we are ready to go to the starting line at the Capitol Building.
The first thing that we all look for is the baggage area while the family of Elite runners are like busy scouting for their competitors and asking the organizers about the original information about the top 10 finishers with cash prize because when we got their they announced that there is a cash prize for top 3 finishers only. Yeah, they are running for money and me for bragging rights.
While they are discussing with race officials I sneak in and told my extra time to take pictures with my new running buddies and pose for one that includes my signature Kalongkong Hiker/Runner pose. Me already right! 😀 🙂
While roaming around I found this delicacy stand and they are selling the famous Puto-Calasiao (A rice cake). Php 70.00 a kilo is it? I can’t remember, but the good thing here is free taste until you are full is great and a good deal maybe just for us because Arch. Jun told the vendors to be nice and give us discounts. Thanks and more power local vendors of rice cakes. They have different flavors, plain, pandan, mango, strawberry, ube and puto kutsinta too. I ordered 2 kilos for my office mates and 2 kilos my family. Yahoo!
I hid back at the starting line and here I took a picture of a 10 wheeler truck turned converted into a stage, Optimus Prime of Transformers is that you. Cool huh! The program just started and it started with a prayer, then the singing of our National Anthem, runner’s oath and some inspirational speech from a politician, sorry I forgot the name, my bad. 😦
There is a slight delay on the gun start and they had to recalibrate the time and reset it back. I lined up at the front of the starting line up and see my chances of staying at the lead pack until I can and of course to have a great starting line photos with other runners.
Look at me looking for my running buddies behind me. Feeling elite? This is for the love of picture. Haha!
Ten, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and Juan! Finally, after a gun start delay,its about to kick off. Photos c/o 3U Runners.
At gun start, I am forced to sprint at the first 5K kilometers and tried to hang on with the fastest and strongest runners but my training is not enough and I could only keep up with 30 minutes run with 5 minutes walk transition. This is what I did the entire run and of course there is so much to look up to the road and I couldn’t resist to stop and took some pictures of the town. Argh, lesson learned, if you want to get that nice PR don’t dare to bring camera with you on the run and plus you can’t take a picture of yourself running. How many times do I have to make this mistake! Tsk, tsk, tsk!
First bridge crossing and I’m getting smoke by Richard. Here I started to feel side stitches (stomach cramps).
By the way, before the gun start, Richard, Jessie and me agreed to have a target time and I set a sub 2 for a 21K finish, while they set their 2:15 or 2:30. It was just a friendly competition and a goal for the day and its a win-win for all of us and it did help us finish the race with pride and I can say I’m a proud finisher in my province. Rock on Pangasinan!
I’m sorry but I had to take a short cut in writing what happens along the route haha, just kidding, on that same bridge you see above a camera crew of ABS-CBN Dagupan is rolling and I was so pumped up to run, too bad my face wasn’t including on the clip not even a second on that video but good to see Arch. Jun being interviewed on that video.
After bridge crossing and back en route to a village that goes behind the Narcisso Ramos Stadium and a half track run we go straight to the town proper of the Capitol going to the PNP air field the last 21K U-turn where I stop and do my usual Kalongkong signature pose and it’s some sort of souvenir before doing the last 3K of the run that includes the beach run and then the final stretch up to the finish line. Here I finished strong and sprinting. 🙂
Thanked God and to the support of fellow runners on the road that pushed me I finished the great run even with stomach cramps and finished with good PR. I finished at a decent 2:32:22 and ranked 44th overall in male group that’s my honest record but on their PDF file of race results my name listed as a 13th finisher under a different race bib number.
I found something wrong with the timing chip, it’s either messed up that my timing chip was giving to another runner or it’s a technical difficulty on the recording when I finally found a link of the race results, who cares, I’m not playing for the top place all I wanna do is finish the race, be a finisher and would like to tell a great story to my kids and take a picture and go home, that’s all. Let’s go!
After we all finished the race, we just wait for the husband’s and wife Joanna to cross the finish line so that we can go on the tour together and see the buildings at the Capitol. While we are waiting and ready for the tour, there is no guide available already, kind enough, Hazel of Dept. of Tourism approached us and took her time to spent with us and let us see inside the Capitol Building. The cleanest and greenest government building of the province and for me on the country. Kudos to the Governor for keeping the town clean and green!
After the tour, we go back to our sleeping quarters had 2 to 3 hours spare time, while others just wanted to sleep, I go out alone and roam around the stadium then eat lunch of course alone and go back to the dormitory and pack my things.
At noon we requested to have a side trip and show them my beautiful and pilgrims city of Manaoag and let my new-found running buddies to shop for Tupig and other delicacies available at the foot of the Shrine of Our lady of Manaoag.